8 Reasons Why People with Autism Open Up (Or Don’t) About Their Diagnosis

People on the spectrum may handle their autism diagnosis in a variety of ways. Some might open up about it and take more pride in who they are. Others might be more self-conscious of their condition and prefer to keep it private, telling only family and close friends. Reddit user pixievampiress posed the question, “How open are you about being autistic and why?” to an online autism forum. Here are some of the responses given for why some people on the spectrum open up about their diagnosis — and why others don’t.

[Editor’s note: Some responses have been edited for language and/or space.]

8. Be Proud of Your Talents

Photo: Pixabay

“I’ll tell anyone that asks or if it becomes relevant. Stigma comes from accepting shame. If you don’t speak up yourself, why should anyone else? Many of the great men of the past obviously had autistic traits, or were perhaps schizotypal, ADHD, dyslexic and so on. About 1/5 people have a mental disorder. Most are hiding it or are living in ignorance, but many are talented and brilliant people with different perspectives of the world. Be proud of your talents and find some self-esteem.” — Reddit user biscuitfiends

7. It’s Part of My Identity

“I am personally very open about being autistic. My belief is that autism is something that is a part of my identity. It’s not really different than someone being gay or transgender, it’s part of who they are. Is it a disability? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I should be separated from it. I would not be the same person if I weren’t autistic. A lot of people like to push the belief that there is ‘a child trapped inside’ of autistic people, but that’s just not the case. Disability is much more integral to our identities than you might believe.” — Reddit user tyrelltsura

6. Only For A Select Few

“I tell friends and people I trust. If the question is asked, I answer honestly. I don’t tell everyone because in the past I have been targeted with verbal insults.” — Reddit user noname1014.

5. Too Much of a Stigma

Photo: Pixabay

“I’ve told some people in my family. I don’t generally tell anyone else. No matter what anyone says, there is a stigma attached to autism, and people will treat autistics differently if they know. The times I have told people have not been good experiences. I don’t need to give people another excuse to treat me badly.” — Reddit user fnasd

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